19 Hiring FAQs Smart CEOs Ask a SaaS Agency
What is a SaaS Agency?
A B2B SaaS Marketing agency is a service business that helps B2B SaaS clients market and grow their digital products. There are different types of SaaS marketing agencies, from consulting companies that enable clients to evaluate and roll out specific tools to demand generation agencies, inbound marketing, PPC, and CRO-focused ones.
Some are full-service ones that focus on sustainable growth in the long-term, offering web design, demand generation, SEO, and content marketing, only branding themselves as a growth partner. The main difference between these services is how they approach each client’s needs, what SaaS niche they’re most experienced in, and what size of SaaS brands they typically work with.
The best way to find out if you need an agency or not is to ask yourself: “Do I have someone who can do this for me?” If the answer is no, you probably need an agency to support your b2b marketing initiatives with Google Ads SaaS content marketing and likely develop a comprehensive marketing strategy for your demand generation program.
You should also ask yourself where you are in your growth stage. Are you in the idea stage, looking to create the MVP, and doing your own marketing? If that’s the case, you’re not ready for SaaS agency just yet, and would likely benefit from a consultant or a Fractional CMO to set your strategy in place.
How does it work?
The process starts with a discovery meeting where we discuss what you want to achieve and how you want to get there. A SaaS Agency defines your goals and objectives, and together you create a plan to reach your growth goals. This includes identifying your ICP (ideal client profile), setting up a strategy, and implementing tactics. Once a strategy is set, your agency of record should measure your results using a platform like Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics.
A SaaS agency will typically prepare a proposal based on findings from the discovery meeting. You will then review it before signing off and negotiating what’s essential for your B2B SaaS. Once signed off, you and the SaaS marketing agency can start working together to implement the strategy.
What are the benefits of working with a B2B SaaS Agency?
There are many advantages to using an agency over doing it yourself once you reach product-market fit.
Here are just some of them:
- A B2B SaaS marketing agency has expertise in the required areas of digital marketing specific to B2B SaaS. They know which channels perform well and which ones don’t work for your specific brand because they likely have dozens of case studies. They also know how to use those channels effectively to reach your growth goals.
- An agency knows how to communicate with potential SaaS customers and how to build relationships with them through their customer journey. They understand the importance of storytelling and brand building to get to T2D3 hockey stick growth.
- A SaaS agency understands the importance of Search Engine Optimization, Paid Social, SEM, and digital analytics. They know how to optimize content for search engines and social media platforms to get relevant traffic to your website. Optimized traffic generally performs better in terms of conversion rates, so it’s an excellent path to take.
- A digital marketing agency can work closely with IT teams and other departments within your organization to make sure they can implement what’s required to reach your next growth milestone. They are familiar with the processes and systems you already have in place.
- An agency is more likely to provide ongoing support than an independent SaaS consultant or digital marketing freelancer because they have the workforce and deep expertise required to reach your business goals.
What is a Growth Marketing Agency?
A growth marketing agency typically refers to the functions that most marketing agencies perform. Still, in this case, we’re talking about people who work specifically under Growth Marketing (not just traditional digital marketers).
Here’s what you should know:
- They offer similar services as traditional digital agencies, but there are some key differences. Traditional digital marketing agencies focus on brand awareness & digital advertising. In contrast, growth marketing agencies help move people along the funnel by deploying tactics and strategies around lead nurturing (marketing automation), CXO (customer experience), and media buying focused around your highest LTV customers. This fundamental difference enables companies to generate more qualified leads at a fraction of the cost than traditional digital marketing methods deployed by typical media agencies.
- They are not an inbound marketing agency. Growth marketing agencies typically focus on generating MQLs and SQLs, which is why they go after prospects that haven’t yet signed up for your product/service.
Inbound marketing agencies are focused on helping companies understand their audience better by understanding buying behavior improving retention rates, while growth marketers help businesses acquire new customers.
- They require less time than traditional digital agencies do. Most clients report spending around 20% of their time working with a growth agency because it’s become more hands-off due to technology advancements.
Why do B2B SaaS brands hire SaaS Agencies?
Clients typically hire B2B SaaS agencies to help them manage technology better and scale operations. The most common digital product that a SaaS agency would integrate with their clients is Salesforce, HubSpot, or Ad-Tech platforms like Google Ads, along with Search Ads 360 (Google Marketing Platform). CRM systems like Salesforce or others like Active Campaign can act as a central data warehouse for all customer information and is used by companies in many industries beyond just sales (such as HR/finance).
What is a growth marketing agency?
A growth marketing agency primarily focuses on helping companies grow their revenue through social media, SEO, CXO/CRO, and digital analytics. They are usually experts in one or two of these areas but may have expertise in other areas of growth marketing depending on the needs of their B2B SaaS clients. This is why some agencies prefer to call themselves “strategic partners” because they focus on growing their MRR together with you, as long as there is an incentive for both sides.
Why do B2B SaaS brands hire growth agencies?
Typically, SaaS companies looking for help with growing revenue hire a growth agency after they’ve exhausted resources internally or have already implemented tactics that can drive traffic (i.e., SEM, blog content marketing). For example, if a client has invested in building an audience using social media sites like Facebook/Instagram, they would hire a growth agency to help them monetize that audience. This can be achieved through educational materials like white papers with industry insights, educational webinars, marketing automation, SMS marketing, chatbots, and other growth tools on the market.
Another reason clients may look to hire SaaS marketing agencies because they’re looking to scale their sales efforts and increase the efficiency of hiring reps who can close deals.
For example, if a client has 10k leads in Salesforce and needs help converting them into customers, they would hire a SaaS agency to help with pipeline growth management and nurturing campaigns. The most significant benefit of working with a SaaS agency is that it allows SaaS companies to focus on their own business or product development. Most SaaS clients don’t have the resources internally to scale a marketing team’s expertise, and a SaaS agency can fill those gaps.
What are some key benefits of working with SaaS marketing agencies?
One of the most significant benefits of working with a SaaS marketing agency is that it enables businesses to focus on their core product/service development. Giving up control over your marketing can be very challenging for many brands, but it has been proven as one of the most effective ways for companies to grow revenue long-term and focus on product-led growth.
In fact, Gartner predicted that by 2020 80% of digital transformation initiatives will fail if they rely solely on internal efforts. This means giving up control over critical business functions such as marketing, and this is where a SaaS agency can help fill in the gaps of expertise. They’ve seen it all and have the expertise and resources to come in, set up a reliable marketing system/processes that your business can rely on in the long run to scale your MRR.
What are some key benefits of working with growth agencies?
The biggest benefit of hiring a growth agency is that they help companies reach their full revenue potential, so they don’t get locked into a specific growth rate (i.e., 8% month-over-month). Having more predictable revenue allows businesses to be more strategic about investing internally, which frees up time and resources needed to focus on growth initiatives like product development and recruiting new hires. That’s why many CEOs prefer working with growth marketing agencies because it helps them achieve sustainable, long-term growth without sacrificing other critical business functions like software development, hiring customer success managers, not to mention scaling the sales teams.
How much do B2B SaaS companies typically spend on marketing?
Typically, a B2B SaaS company spends about 20-25% of revenue on marketing if they’re looking to scale their marketing efforts and grow faster. That number can fluctuate depending on the size and industry of the business and growth targets set by the CEO or investors.
For example, B2C businesses typically spend more than B2B businesses because they have to reach a larger audience to generate enough demand required for growth. This can drastically affect how much you should budget for marketing each year.
How much do growth agencies charge?
The fees range based on the agency’s capabilities and expertise. They can be rather expensive if you hire one with staff in your city (i.e., New York, London, or San Francisco). The good news is that some agencies will put together an engagement plan for clients who can’t afford full-time staff yet because it gives them time to build long-term revenue with the agency.
On average, they will charge anywhere from $5k-$50k per month, depending on the size and scale of your business. If you’re a 5-10 ARR million SaaS business, you’re probably looking at 10-20K/month in agency fees, and if you’re scaling beyond the eight figures, it’s likely to be at least 30K/month in agency fees.
These fees can include project management time, account management, ad-tech platform fees, agency retainer fees for media buyers, and other fees like strategic services. These fees are typically dependent on the scope of your work, services performed, and the pricing model used by the agency (retainer, % of spend, revenue share, hourly or performance-based).
What does a SaaS agency offer? How are they different from a growth agency?
A SaaS agency may also work with the same functions that growth agencies perform, but there are a few key differences:
- They typically focus on branding/advertising, whereas growth marketers typically don’t because their goal is to help businesses acquire new customers.
Think about it.
Do you really need to do branding when your company is brand new, and nobody knows who you are? No, brands should be built over time (i.e., content marketing, social media, etc.) which is why most companies hire traditional agencies in the beginning stages of their business for this purpose.
Once your company starts seeing enough demand, it’s often advised to hire experts within certain functions like customer acquisition. It can be way more cost-effective than spending money on branding/advertising.
- They are not growth marketers! Growth marketing agencies typically refer to companies that want to generate leads at a fraction of the cost of traditional media agencies. Most often, SaaS businesses that hire traditional agencies are looking for help with branding or conventional ways of advertising.
The truth is, most companies don’t need growth marketers until later on down the road when they’ve achieved enough demand within their industry and they’re ready to scale up operations & sales teams quickly. At this point, growth marketers can help companies generate qualified leads at a fraction of the cost and time, which is why SaaS agencies typically work to fill this gap.
- SaaS Agencies require LESS time than traditional agencies do. Suppose you’re looking for an agency that does everything (i.e., branding/advertising). In that case, you’ll end up spending way more time working with them because they’ll go after both new and familiar audiences—this will be much more expensive, especially if your company hasn’t seen enough demand yet! That’s why it’s super important to understand what different functions within a marketing agency do so you can hire the right one from the beginning.
How are you different from other SaaS marketing agencies?
We provide a few unique services that make us different from other SaaS marketing agencies:
- We don’t sell you on every service you do or do not need, but instead, we focus on educating you so you can make your own decisions on the right fit for your business. Many businesses complain about their agency because they’re not transparent & up-front with them. They shoot you an estimate and then end up charging way more for the service, which causes problems on both ends.
This is why our team wants to start this movement—we want to make sure everyone knows what’s going on before anything happens. We also encourage businesses to ask as many questions as possible so there is no confusion or miscommunication down the road that might ruin your experience with our brand.
- We are 100% transparent in what’s possible for your B2B SaaS growth goals. We created this company around the idea of being completely transparent with every client who works with us because we believe it’s better to be upfront about everything instead of hiding anything. Yes, this might be scary at first, but you’ll quickly realize that honesty is the best policy because then there are no surprises or confusion down the line. This helps us build a strong relationship with our clients and long-term growth on both sides.
- We don’t work with every type of business out there or even every type of B2B SaaS. SaaS businesses have to meet specific standards before they’re allowed to work with our team. This helps us to ensure that both sides are being treated fairly, which is why you won’t find any massive red flags within our company down the line.
This means SaaS businesses must have a valid product/service, at least 5 million ARR, a functional website & social media accounts, and demonstrate PMF (product-market fit) for us to consider working together. We only take on one business partner at a time in a specific sub-niche, so there’s no competition among ourselves internally or externally, which lets our team operate with a clear conscience.
- We work strictly within the B2B SaaS industry. There’s nothing wrong with working with multiple sectors. Still, we decided to focus on one industry alone because we believe it’ll help us create the best service possible for SaaS companies looking for continuing business growth. It also helps us become more knowledgeable about customer acquisition, paid advertising, and website strategies, which all play a massive role within the SaaS industry. Spotting new marketing trends is crucial in the SaaS space, particularly if you want to leverage growth tactics working today, not yesterday.
How is digital marketing for SaaS companies different from traditional digital marketing for other businesses?
The main difference between digital marketing for a SaaS company and traditional marketing is the fact that a SaaS business needs qualified leads to generate recurring revenue. In contrast, most other companies can get away with just generating new customers.
This requires a different approach because your ads have to be incredibly specific to your target audience, which means you’ll have to try out a few ad platforms and messaging before coming across one that generates sales-qualified leads consistently to fill your pipeline. In this case, paid advertising on search or social media has been proven to be one of the best ways for B2B SaaS companies & start-ups to grow their brand—it’s also much cheaper than hiring another full-time employee. Hence, it’s great from a financial perspective.
There are additional strategies (i.e., SEO) that you can implement to help lead generation. However, you may still not be entirely sure which channels will work best for you (i.e., Facebook Ads vs. Twitter Ads vs. LinkedIn Ads).
These are the main factors that separate digital marketing for SaaS companies from traditional marketing methods. It’s more complex and time-consuming than other forms of online marketing, so it requires a lot more research & trial and error to get it right.
Even if you have a product-market fit, you still have to continue testing over time to open up new segments of the current market or tap into a new addressable market, which likely means you have to increase marketing budgets.
What are the best SaaS marketing channels?
Since we only work with the SaaS industry, we can’t speak to other industries. However, customer acquisition is complex in any industry, so paid ads are popular marketing (i.e., Google Ads, Quora Ads, Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, LinkedIn Ads).
Many companies will try out different ad platforms when deciding which one works best for their business, and that’s when they’ll start to see results. Results vary from company to company because not everyone has the same marketing budget, messaging, market positioning, or audience base.
There are certain B2B SaaS companies that we’ve worked with in the past who have had tremendous success with Facebook ads, simply because this is where their audience lives — it’s possible to expand beyond social media. Still, it requires a lot more work since you need to understand how paid advertising operates & what goes into creating a successful campaign. In some cases, building your traffic / SEO from scratch will be the best option if your business doesn’t have a large enough budget.
Generally speaking, if you can’t find a way to increase your marketing budget, you can use a small content marketing agency to support your marketing efforts because a content marketing agency likely possesses extensive knowledge of inbound marketing strategies.
How much money should I expect to spend per month on effective SaaS growth marketing?
It depends on what you classify as effective because there are plenty of digital marketing companies out there who are willing to charge high prices for inferior results.
That being said, spending at least $1500/month should be enough to get started with Facebook ads and potentially other paid ad platforms (i.e., Twitter ads). If you don’t want to spend that much, we suggest holding off until your business generates more revenue to cover the advertising costs.
The main reason behind this is that it can take time for a SaaS company’s traffic sources & ad campaigns to start converting well. Results typically won’t appear overnight, which means you’ll have to put in some hard work before seeing any significant return on investment (ROI). This largely depends on the digital marketing strategies or tactics you deployed during your initial ad launch and what marketing analytics software you’re using to solve your marketing challenges.
What are the Best B2B SaaS Agencies out there today?
- Bay Leaf Digital [Growth Marketing]
- Kalungi [Full Service]
- SimpleTiger [SEO & Content]
- Inturact [Demand Generation]
- Heinz Marketing [Pipeline Strategy]
- Hey Digital [PPC & CRO]
- Huemor [Web Design]
- Deviate Labs [Growth Marketing]
- NoGood [Growth Marketing]
To see results, you have to work closely with the SaaS company’s marketing experts and provide them with a good amount of data to make their decision.
It can be difficult for a client to manage the different components associated with online marketing, which is why we advise all of our clients to improve their internal marketing functions or other processes so that they can run more successful campaigns across their entire organization.
In some cases, this means hiring additional employees for content production or advertising efforts, but this varies from one business to another. It’s foolish to assume that every company out there knows how to effectively market themselves online, let alone take a deep dive into their prospect’s SaaS marketing journey. We’ve seen many situations where companies lack even the most basic online marketing knowledge, making it challenging to achieve their business goals even if they hire a digital agency focused on growth strategies or proven growth hacks.
- If you’re trying out a new agency and want to ensure they deliver results, then take some time to find out more about how much money they typically spend on marketing for their clients. You can also try working with freelancers or startups to see how they manage your campaigns, but this likely won’t be enough to generate significant results.
- SaaS businesses generally need at least a year or two to build a solid foundation that future marketing managers can build upon. This ensures they can create an effective inbound strategy that can generate predictable growth. It doesn’t matter if your SaaS is in the real estate industry looking for scalable growth or you’re in the MarTech space, you’re likely to run into a bottleneck in business costing.
What are the best SaaS marketing channels?
At Algocentric Digital, we get this question quite often. And the answer is never the same because marketing channels are like tools in a toolbox. Some work better than others, depending on what you’re building and for whom.
Here are the 6 best SaaS marketing channels that work well for us to help you kickstart your next lead generation campaign:
1) Social media.
We’re not talking about tweeting about your latest feature release or hosting a Facebook contest here (although these can be powerful tactics). Instead, social media is an excellent source of quality leads when done right. We focus our social media efforts on two main activities:
1) Running Cross-Channel remarketing Strategies through Paid Social and
2) Amplifying content through paid social on Facebook, Quora, LinkedIn, and Twitter
3) Using highly segmented remarketing campaigns
2) Content marketing.
Creating exciting and valuable content is one of the most effective ways to attract high-quality organic traffic. But you’re not done after publishing your ebook, whitepaper, or blog post. It’s essential to continue consistently distributing your content to build awareness among search engines and potential customers alike. We use tools like Hootsuite and Buffer App to automate our social media sharing activities, find influencers and stay top of mind with our user base (and beyond). We also like to deploy AI-Powered content marketing optimization across all of our blog content to make sure we cover every cover in depth.
3) Public relations (PR).
PR can encompass anything from pitching newsworthy stories to reporters at influential publications, running paid media campaigns on these same channels, sending out product reviews to targeted publications. PR is a highly effective way to get your name out there and create brand awareness with those who matter most: your future customers. This is an excellent way to support your SEO initiatives through link-building initiatives.
4) Search engine marketing (SEM).
SEM isn’t just for big brands with big budgets. Tools like Google Ads and Microsoft Ads can be an excellent option for companies of all sizes looking to effectively target users with specific intent – even if you only have $1,500 per month to spend. When we were first starting, this was one of the channels we invested in heavily because it gets quick results and has a low cost of entry. We still invest in SEM today but at a much-reduced capacity as our traffic comes from other channels such as social media and our blog.
5) Sales outreach.
Leads aren’t just generated out of thin air. Sometimes, they require a personal touch to turn into opportunities. As a SaaS agency, we have found that our sales team can be highly effective in reaching out to highly targeted B2B SaaS prospects to have an initial conversation around the problems we solve. We also look at how we might help them achieve their growth goals to scale MRR.
6) AI-Powered content marketing.
A knowledgeable SaaS content marketing agency will generally need strong buy-in from SaaS founders to support the revenue growth goals when marketing their SaaS product. One of the best and most cost-effective ways for a SaaS marketing company to meet your qualified lead targets is to connect your content marketing initiatives to your email marketing and account based marketing software. This helps nurture your leads and identify companies visiting your site, so you can turn MQLs into SQLs and into paying customers. With this approach, you effectively run integrated marketing campaigns across various platforms. Growth hacking isn’t accidental – it’s engineered growth that comes from aligning the right technology with proper messaging and a frictionless connected customer experience that comes from a solid product-market fit.
In summary, while each channel above will bring its unique benefits, we recommend using a combination of at least 3 channels to generate the highest volume of quality leads for your business.
Is a SaaS Marketing Agency Really Any Different From Any Other Digital Marketing Agency?
Yes, the SaaS company’s marketing team will likely have much more experience in B2B SaaS digital marketing than you do, so it’s essential to follow their direction that’s probably rooted in deep expertise.
You can’t expect them to focus all of their attention on your SaaS business when they’re trying to service multiple clients at once. Nonetheless, this isn’t an excuse to avoid communicating with them since campaigns must run smoothly.
However, if you think specific questions need additional clarification, take some time out of your schedule and talk with them directly at least once a week.
That being said, you should still communicate regularly with the agency to ensure that your strategy is still aligned with what you originally agreed upon. This doesn’t necessarily mean that everything has changed, but even slight adjustments can significantly impact your results.
For example, if the company you’re working with is trying to increase your ad budget, they may want to start focusing on bringing more conversions instead of traffic. If this isn’t what you originally planned for, then it would be wise to hold off until the campaign has enough time for you to see whether or not these changes are effective.
Some companies will also focus more efforts on specific platforms, even if your strategy targets several sources. This can cause problems when it comes time for reporting on critical metrics since there may not be enough data for you to properly understand how well each marketing channel is working. It’s only through the combined experience of successful PPC advertising growth experts, as well as SaaS SEO professional services that you can design a successful demand generation campaign. When we say success, we’re talking about valuable conversions like MQLs and SQLs with high LTV and low churn rate customers.
SaaS companies generally achieve such conversions through content strategy and often work closely with a growth marketing consulting agency with in-house marketing teams to help SaaS brands achieve lasting growth.
As for working with freelancers instead of an agency, we generally recommend that your B2B SaaS company focuses on hiring one person who can do as many marketing tasks as possible to save money and time for your marketing campaign. However, this isn’t always possible since each business has unique needs and requirements, which is why there are plenty of agencies out there offering several growth marketing services for SaaS brands.
In some cases, it would even be possible for you to provide all of the necessary information and then let the SaaS agency handle everything. Keep in mind that this approach can be very time-consuming, so it’s probably best if you already have some knowledge about marketing before hiring out every single task.
Do you have any SaaS marketing channels that work well for your business? Please share them in the comments below! We’re always looking for new ways to improve our lead generation strategy at Algocentric Digital.
We hope this article helped answer some of your questions about what happens when you work with an agency, but please feel free to contact us with additional questions or leave a comment below.